“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling
and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.”
– St. Augustine
It rained last week. Rainy days are a favorite. A summer storm rumbling through is part of summer’s charm.
Doors have been opening and closing, closing and opening on new things and old. There are blessings and sorrows, just like always. Sometimes, I lose my step in this Father-Daughter dance, but He doesn’t let go and helps me find His rhythm and steps.
After months of Bettie Gilbert’s book sitting on my book tray since the end of winter, one morning this week, my finger’s reached for it. They knew my soul was ready for the message, needed the message. I’ve caught on to God’s timing. Where a message is in the que, whether it’s next, middlin’ or last – it’s nothing to God. When it’s time, your heart, mind, and soul know it.
I’d read along with Bettie’s writing at both her blog, BettieGsRAseasons and Chronic Joy. I was so glad when she put her faith-journey into a book, so I could read all the parts I’d missed. Abiding in Him: A Life Together in Ministry overflowers with grace, hope, forgiveness, trust in God in the daily: the easy, the challenging, the hurtful, the blessings, the bewilderings.
“God was finding ways to soften my selfish desire to do things my way, showing me loving mercy in the process.” ~ Bettie Gilbert
Softening my selfish desires. . . to do things my way. . . It’s a season of new things (isn’t it always if we are to grow in our relationship with our Creator). I needed reminding that He probably has better ideas for ways to do things than I do.
I needed the faith and trust lessons on doors opening, doors closing. In each challenge Bettie has faced and still faces, she has surrendered to God – and let God sort out the challenges. Surrendering is not giving up; surrendering is waiting for God’s better way. Reading Bettie’s story is like visiting with a dear friend who loves well, loves selflessly, and you come away better for the time spent, as though your heart could not only grow and love better, but surrender those reigns of control to our Redeemer so much more easily.
I’ll be sixty-one soon – and God expects me to still do new things or do old things in a new way. There’s still softening of my selfish desires to be done. I think if I saw His curriculum map for me, my jaw would drop to the ground, and I’d go to bed for a month! I’m glad I don’t see all the things He has planned for me to learn still.
Abiding in Him is a message about living through and handling hard things. It’s a message delivered with such humbleness, compassion and love that it takes a few extra seconds as the message seeps into your soul for you to feel the full impact of Bettie’s message of a life surrendered to God. It was exactly the message I have needed to hear in the season I’m in!
“He does ask the impossible–but only so that He can fulfill the impossible surrender for us.” ~ Bettie Gilbert
In the surrender to the doors God has open and close – it’s how we love and forgive, how we slough off victimhood and embrace God’s redemption of the broken places. Grace-filled surrendering. Peace-filled surrendering. Love-filled surrendering. Letting-God and Letting-Go surrendering.
In it all, I see I need more compassion, more selflessness, more gentleness, more love – that the heart and soul of myself needs to expand in ways I cannot even fathom. I am thankful for friendships He sends with messages and stories that show the way. I am thankful that God slowly opens my eyes to His brand of everything – even if it takes a lifetime and beyond.
Lo, I love you,
but if my love is too mean,
let me love more passionately.
I cannot gauge my love,
nor know how far it fails,
how much more love I need
for my life to set its course straight
into your arms, never swerving
until hidden in the covert of your face,”
~ St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
Remember Me Monday: #102 & Link-up
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
. love extravagant.”
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements,
Legacy Link-Up, Recharge Wednesday
Faith on Fire, Tell His Story, Grace&Truth
Let’s Have Coffee Wednesday Celebrate Your Story
Scripture&Snapshot, Sunday Scripture Blessings
Sweet Tea & Friends Monthly Link-up